By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Monday, admitted more incriminating evidence tendered against the former Director General of the National Gallery of Art, Chief Joe Musa, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The embattled ex-DG is facing trial for allegedly diverting over N2.2 billion from the coffers of the establishment between August 2006 and December 31, 2008.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, Monday, trial Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, allowed several documents brought by the anti-graft agency to go into evidence, after he held that they were admissible in law and vital to the determination of the allegations against him and three others.
They were admitted following oral evidence by a Director of Finance and Accounts in the parastatal, Dr Achubo Henry Uche, who is testifying in the matter as a prosecution witness.
In his testimony, the witness told the court that the embattled DG, in August 2006, diverted budgetary allocations for the gallery to projects that he said were neither executed nor the funds remitted back to the treasury.
Initial attempts by the prosecuting counsel, Sir Steven Odiase, to tender the documents to collaborate the testimony of the witness, was vehemently resisted by the defence counsels, who insisted that going by the provisions of the Evidence Act, that such documents were not admissible.
Their contention was however over-ruled by the trial Judge who went ahead and admitted the documents into evidence.
The documents admitted were the financial statement from the external auditor, Ambrose Ekpefua and Co, Chattered accountant, a management letter, 2007 budget (Income and expenditure of the NGA from budget office of the federation (ministry of finance), lists of programmes that were not executed but appropriated for in the 2008 budget.
The 2nd prosecution witness, Ibrahim Galadima took the stand and also tendered letters written by EFCC to First Bank and Spring Bank of the activities of the former DG, and the responses which were also admitted as evidence.